Slate Quarries. A View of Harlech Castle Merionethshire
Artist: Hassell, John
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
Harlech castle overlooks the Snowdonia mountain range and was built as part of King Edward I’s ‘iron ring’ of defences surrounding and protecting the mountains. The castle was designed by James of St George, the Master of the King’s works in Wales and is a feat of Medieval military engineering. Building work was started in May 1283 and was completed by 1290- it took an army of masons, quarries and labourers to build it, at one point there were over 900 workers; it was a difficult job and took two years just to level the land at the pinnacle of the hill. The design of the castle exploited the sites natural advantages- its seaward sides were defended by sheer cliffs and a deep moat protected the other sides.